November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance

Although the message that all people are different and that this enriches the world has been tried to be highlighted many times, there are certain “differences” that are not well seen in societies. Therefore, among several sexually diverse groups, there are some who are especially exposed to all sorts of discrimination, such as the case of trans people.

Trans identity can be generally understood as, people whose gender expression (female or male) does not match the biological gender they were assigned at birth.

Until recently, there was a distinction made between transexual people, as those who had undergone surgeries to adapt their genitals to their actual gender, and transgender people, this means, people who had not gone through such surgeries and simply expressed themselves with a different gender than the one assigned at birth.

However, this, once again, limited gender to genitals, as well as demanded trans people to “show” that they felt they belonged to a certain gender by renouncing the sexual organs of the other gender, something that not all were willing to do. This is why, currently, it is more adequate to simply call them trans people, men or women.

Remembering those who perished 

On November 28 1998, Rita Hester, an african american trans women, was murdered by way of 20 stab wounds in her apartment in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The crime was never resolved, but it generated such indignation that contemporary activists created the Trans Day of Remembrance in her honor, a day which has been commemorated every November 20th since then, and has been adopted as an international date.

There are thousands of stories like Rita ‘s in many countries in Latin America. It’s not rare to hear about these types of crimes in which victims are attacked in their homes or places of work, without any signs of forced entry or burglary, where it seems that murder was the only objective.

To this, we add the little disposition from authorities to investigate cases and media interest in highlighting the victim’s condition, and in many cases, to expose their birth name if the person had not been able to correct the information in their official identifications.

It is because of all these circumstances, which are clear examples of discrimination and violation of human rights, such as the right to justice, that the Trans Day of Remembrance is commemorated, with the aim of not letting the names and faces of those who were brave enough to live freely, facing prejudice and social dictates, become lost in oblivion.
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